Have you ever thought about how dangerous or even deadly BJJ could be? Dangerous not in the sense that you may have a knee or back injury. And deadly not in the sense you are a killer machine because you know few chokes. Here it is about how dangerous or even lethal some techniques can be for you if done wrong or at the wrong time. If you want to delve into it and know the uglier side of BJJ then below you will learn about the dangers of a flying armbar and read the story of a Russian fighter who broke his neck while using it.
The flying armbar
The flying armbar does not differ much from the regular one. Actually, the regular armbar is the base for the flying one. Basically, the moves and grips are the same, only instead of being on the ground, you and your opponent are standing. And the best option to execute the flying armbar is when your opponent holds your collar with one arm. If you are in such a situation you need to grab the other person’s extended arm under the triceps muscle. With your other hand grab your opponent’s collar for better control. Just remember, the flying armbar needs to be performed very quickly if you want it to succeed. As a next step, you need to jump to the side of your opponent and trap his arm as you would for a regular armbar.
Things worth remembering if you want to do the flying armbar
If you’re going to try a flying submission, it is just a little less dangerous to do it in a Gi than No Gi. In Gi, you have much sturdier grips and there’s not the same amount of danger of slipping off of your opponent. Moreover, make sure that your opponent has a strong Collar Tie on your neck. Also, remember using the correct leg for the technique. The one opposite to the arm you’ll do the armbar on jumps up to your opponent’s hip. In the end don’t forget to go to sit down and swing your other leg over, finishing the armbar once on the floor.
The dangers of a flying armbar
This technique is very dangerous and requires a lot of technical skills to be properly performed. To execute the flying armbar correctly you have to really shoot at the perfect moment. It is a really quick action that will cost you a lot of energy. One of the obvious dangers is bad timing, causing the opponent to counter your attack. Moreover, your opponent may also not be as sturdy as you’d want them to be, resulting in them dropping you to the floor. You can also just slip if you try to perform it in No Gi.
Of course, all techniques have the problem that they may fail. In most cases, the worst thing that can happen is that your opponent will submit you. It comes with dangers such as being choked out, etc. But generally, failing technique is not very risky for your health. The case is different with the flying armbar. If you do it wrong you can fall from a height of a meter and sometimes even more onto your neck. As you can guess such a fall is very dangerous and may lead to even breaking the neck. If you don’t believe, read the below story of the Russian fighter who is now paralyzed after his attempt of flying armbar goes horribly wrong.
Horror Grappling Injury
Payzutdin Aliyev the 26-year-old Russian was fighting at the Tinkoff Arena based in St. Petersburg in a hand-to-hand grappling contest similar to wrestling. Aliyev was dumped on his neck following an attempt to catch his opponent in a flying armbar. In the video of this fatal incident, you can hear him yelling in excruciating pain after landing hard on his head. The young Russian Fighter was quickly rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, even despite prompt medical assistance, he was still diagnosed with “a brain contusion, a closed craniocerebral trauma and a fracture of the cervical vertebrae with damage to the spinal cord”. The fighter’s arms and legs are paralyzed as a result of the wounds.
His story should be a warning to all carefree contact sports competitors. BJJ and MMA are beautiful disciplines but we should not forget that they can also be dangerous. Flying armbar can be highly rewarding if did properly but is also a very risky move. So next time think twice before attempting a flying submission. Just ask yourself a question if it is really worth it.